I met to write more about my road trip right when we got back, but life got in the way. Four months late is not that terrible!
The only way we could afford to go on a two month long road trip was because we didn't pay for lodging. We either stayed with family, slept in the car, or used couchsurfing.com to find a free place to stay. Some days we slept in truck stop parking lots and got ready in public bathrooms, but that is all part of the adventure. We also met some really great people couch surfing, but you have to be willing to get out of your comfort zone. Strangers are literally welcoming you into their home!
2. Have a plan, but be flexible
We did a lot of research before our trip and mapped out a general path we wanted to follow. During the trip we did have to take a lot of detours and/or completely take things out, but this allowed us to make room for adventures that were not on our "list". Those off the path adventures are the best!
3. More is less
We really over packed, which led to a cramped car space. You don't need to bring your entire collection of shoes, that huge cooler will be used to store those said shoes instead of food, etc.
4. Grocery shop
You will be so sick of dry goods by the end of the trip, but eating out gets expensive! I lived on canned tuna, triscuits, apples, and taco shells. Yum! We had some really good food on our journey, but on "drive" days don't spend the money at random fast food joints.
5. Write it down
I kept a written journal and wrote it in every day. I also blogged as much as possible, but some details or stories were not blog appropriate or worthy. It's crazy how many details you forget over time and having something to look back on is one of the best ways to keep the memory alive.
6. Emergency Money
This is something we didn't have, but I wish we would have. Our car broke down and we ended up having to pay $600 to get it fixed. We had to cut out of a huge portion of our trip because of this. If we had some money dedicated to car repairs we would have been fine.
7. Just Go
Your parents will think it is dangerous. Your bank account will laugh at you. Your car will be held together with duct tape. Go any way! Everything will work out and if it doesn't you will have a funny story to tell in 20 years.